What is bio-security and what can you do to protect our waters?

What is bio-security?

It’s important that we protect our special waters from the threat of Invasive Non Native Species (INNS). By being aware of INNS and by implementing some basics procedures before heading to our waters you can do your part to protect the lakes we all love so much.

What are INNS?

Animals and plants that have been introduced by human actions to parts of the world outside their natural range are known as non-native species. Most of these do not cause any problems in GB. However, a small proportion, known as invasive non-native species, can cause serious and permanent problems by harming ecosystems. They can be bigger, faster growing or more aggressive than native species, and may also have fewer natural predators to control their numbers. As a result, native species are often unable to compete.

What can you do to protect our waters?

CHECK, CLEAN, DRY. One of the easiest ways to protect our sites from INNS is to follow Check, Clean, Dry:

  • CHECK your equipment and clothing for live organisms—particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect
  • CLEAN and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly. Use hot water when possible. If you do come across any organisms, leave them at the water body where you found them
  • DRY all equipment and clothing—some species can live for many days in moist conditions. Make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere.

What we are doing to help protect our waters from INNS… You might see some Check, Clean, Dry signs up and around the lakes when visiting our waters. Similarly permit kiosks also contain some helpful reminders about INNS. Separately we have joined AQUA, a Biosecurity Accreditation Scheme. Find out about the full details on AQUA.

We are working along side Bristol Zoological Society to raise awareness and monitor INNS in our area. Members of our Lakeside team have been allocated ‘site guardian’ statuses for each of our sites. They will help monitor, record and trap INNS at our waters. You might see a few traps whilst out and about. Please help us by leaving them alone and reporting any signs of tampering. These traps will be checked regularly by our team in an attempt to monitor the spread of INNS.